For many, the Golden Isles is its own bit of paradise. While some residents have called the area home for generations, others have only recently discovered the well kept secret that is the Georgia Coast.
Some people choose to commit entirely, moving here full-time. Others, however, keep their primary home and opt to use the Isles as a getaway. Depending on where one is coming from, they may or may not be quite familiar with their options. It’s Skip Adamson’s job to help sort it out.
The Realtor, at Seaside Realty on Jekyll Island, has met a number of clients who have meandered to the area from various locales, both in and out-of-state.
“There are a number from the Atlanta area and across Georgia who have bought the cottages here. But most of the folks I’m dealing with are actually from up north and are buying second homes,” he said.
“They like to use them as a way to get away from the cold during the winters there.”
Adamson says it can be a wise financial move. The initial investment of a second home can often lead to a solid rental property several months of the year.
“It works out very well for them. They can make some money and use it when they aren’t down here,” he said.
Of course, before one starts packing up their beach bags to relocate there are a few steps that Adamson encourages. First and foremost, buyers should take a realistic look at their finances and their needs.
“You need to get an idea of what size of house you want and what style. It could be a condo or a single family home with three or four bedrooms. If it’s just going to be a couple, you’ll need something smaller but if you have a lot of family here all of the time, you’ll need something bigger,” he said.
“Price will have a bearing on everything too. So those would be the first things you want to think about.”
Once a potential buyer has a general idea of what they’re looking for, Adamson lines up some options. Jekyll Island is a state-owned island with properties that have been around for quite some time. Some may need work while others have been consistently renovated.
Gauging the condition and weighing in future repairs is another important step along the way to securing a second home.
“You want to find something in good condition. If it needs a lot of repairs and you won’t be here full-time, that will be difficult. You will have to find someone trustworthy to do the work,” he said.
“I think you’re better off buying something that needs less maintenance. The Villas By the Sea has one bedroom condos that are rented year around, which always have good occupancy. That’s a good choice.”
After taking a look at several properties, Adamson feels that it’s best to do a little soul-searching before jumping in with an offer. That said, he also feels its important to act as soon as one is ready.
“There have been so many people who have waited then called me back and said, ‘we want to put in an offer.’ And I have to tell them ‘sorry, it’s gone.’ If you see something that fits you, use your gut and go for it,” he said.